Smarter Customer Growth

Stop Wasting Time on the Wrong Customer Acquisition Metrics

Metrics have a strange, somewhat inexplicable allure over SaaS providers. It’s as though the number patterns hold a mysterious, elusive cipher to success. Maybe if we eyeball enough graphs, look at the customer usage stats through enough segments and rummage through enough site flows and clickthrough rates, we will be able to unravel that million-dollar metric-molecule that will tell us how to give our users exactly what they want. It’s a question of covering as much data ground as possible, right?

 

WRONG.

 

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Customer Success for the Rest of Us

Earlier this month, at Dreamforce 2014, Salesforce announced  the launch of Wave – a new Salesforce platform for developing customer success solutions. This was great news to anyone using Salesforce as a CRM platform – the new cloud-based analytics platform would sync perfectly with their sales software and their sales process would enjoy a tremendous data-driven boost. Better yet – they would be able to develop a customized solution featuring the metrics they need the most.

But Salesforce’s announcement conjured another domino effect: it created an even larger divide between billion dollar CRM systems and smaller CRMs catering to small-medium businesses. The race for data accessibility just got tougher and affordable CRMs will have to struggle to keep up.

Surf's up! Salesforce Wave

Surf’s up! Salesforce Wave

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An End to the Trickle: Reversing SaaS Abandonment Rates

When user abandonment of a Software as a Service platform exceeds the rate at which users adopt the service, the company must find the reason and reverse the trend or it will soon find itself without any customers. A company must track and understand their customer churn rate by identifying the signs and symptoms such as high shopping cart abandonment.

Finding unhappy customers is just a small part of the issue. Addressing concerns with the platform is important for retaining all customers, not just the few that actively express their dissatisfaction. Improving the churn rate will depend on keeping customer satisfaction level high enough that they stay instead of looking for another solution.

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Customer Health Prioritized

Customer health is a measure of satisfaction experienced by customers that includes how well the SaaS platform serves their needs and how easily they are able to use it. When customers are very satisfied, they are unlikely to search for other options and are thus in good health. Unsatisfied customers may leap at the first opportunity to leave.

Monitoring customer health includes detecting at-risk accounts by utilizing tools such as analytics to identify problems. Customer care like reaching out when risks increase can help ensure engagement and keep clients happy, along with good follow though and positive action to improve the customer’s overall experience.

Examining Customer Health

Examining Customer Health

Image Source, by CC license

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Growing Customer Value One Treasure Chest at a Time

There seems to be a general fuzziness on the subject of customer value and although there is a consensus across the board that growing said customer value is a good thing, for both customer and business – not everyone is clear on what that means. Rick Spence at the Financial Post articulates it well:

“Customer value is generally defined as the attributes of a product or service that generally encourage customers to choose one vendor over another. These may be product-related or service-related, tangible or intangible. “

He is right, of course – you can’t depend on a single variable to formulate a sustainable customer value growth plan. Spence goes on to illustrate the need for “listening harder” to one’s customers in order to grow customer value. That is, of course, an integral part of the value strategy – but it can’t be all of it. A fierce SaaS leader also needs to have her Customer Treasures ready at hand.

 

Few are the things customers love more than loot (matey!)

Few are the things customers love more than loot (matey!)

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On The finer Points of Nurturing Customer Loyalty

In SaaS circles, we are constantly exchanging tips and recipes on how to create and sustain customer loyalty, but rarely do we stop to consider the foundation for this much desired form of affiliation. What is it that compels a customer to offer their loyalty to one service, and not to another? What is the difference between the types of loyalty inspired by different types of services? Is one type of loyalty better than the others? Is that the one we should aspire to? And most importantly – is customer loyalty an indication of service necessity and relevance or simply a long term business strategy?

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How to Improve Customer Retention Without Taking Another Mortgage

Large corporations have customer retention departments with vice presidents, managers, and a host of employees manning call centers. They have the resources to contact on-the-fence customers and offer big discounts or other incentives to keep them from drifting away. Of course, large corporations have the scale to make such departments a profitable or break-even proposition which justifies their existence. Small and medium businesses on the other hand, won’t find that kind of money in their budgets and must turn to other means in order to improve customer retention.

sattva

 

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